this summer has been invaluable. i have grown, i have stretched. i have cried, i have learned. leaving columbia felt like a fist to my stomach & it sometimes feels like that still. throughout all of those unwanted changes, i have grown a whole heck of a lot. i am proud of that.
columbia was very comfortable. i had a group of women whom i loved dearly. we had a church. we worked at an artisan bakery & coffee shop. we played in our garden & biked everywhere. i was learning in a classroom, earning my degree.
i've written a lot about the process of moving from comfortable columbia to the south. biking is non-existent so we were forced to buy a second vehicle. a lot of people in this town are much older, making it difficult to form friendships. we are still looking for a church & sometimes my job is pretty awful.
but throughout all of that, we are finding that we can still thrive. i work part-time (a decision luke & i made together), which allows for me to devote many hours to self-learning & experimenting. we are adding chickens to our backyard soon & harvesting most of the food we eat from the farm where luke works & the garden in our own backyard. we plan to attend a bee-keeping club next month & learn to work a hive come next season. i am adding full jars of pickles, preserves & tomatoes to our pantry daily & have the time to read books & articles of my own choosing.
i recently picked-up radical homemakers & was challenged & inspired in more ways that i can express here. although i do not subscribe to her ideology fully, i believe she has stuff worth saying. time at home can feel so routine sometimes. those dishes are never-ending & the garden never seems to look perfect. it can also feel lonely. i miss luke when he is gone & those friendships in columbia can start to feel impossibly far away.
there is something radical (& i believe that's what shannon hayes is cluing us readers in on) in removing ourselves from the consumer lifestyle, building up community wherever we are, cultivating the home, & growing to find worth in the day-to-day.
once i figured this out, i sort of felt radical myself. this morning i found satisfaction in making honey peach preserves to be given as gifts & savored during the winter months. i watered the garden this morning & was over-joyed with the ripe tomatoes on the vine. fresh whole wheat banana bread is cooling in the kitchen & home-made butter is ready for eating.
there is just something absolutely beautiful about having time to live in the moment, use what you're given & spend time with the ones you cherish most.